Patient Rights & Responsibilities

We are pleased you and your physician have selected us to provide your medical care. We want to do everything we can to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible.  To assure you are aware of your rights as a patient we have prepared this brochure.  If you have any questions or concerns about an aspect of your stay, please contact a member of our hospital staff.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The patient or representative has the right to:                     

  1. Be informed of these rights before patient care is furnished or discontinued whenever possible.
  2. Receive appropriate care and treatment regardless of race, creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, diagnosis or source of payment for care.
  3. Be treated kindly and respectfully by all hospital personnel.
  4. Receive complete and current information concerning your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms you can understand.  When not medically advisable to give such information, it will be given to a representative.
  5. An explanation of proposed procedures or treatments including purpose, known risks, and any alternatives.
  6. Know the name, identity and professional status of those who are primarily responsible for your care.
  7. Expect a family member/representative and your physician will be notified promptly of your admission.
  8. Participate in developing, implementing and making informed decisions about your plan of care.
  9. Formulate an Advance Directive (living will or a healthcare power of attorney) and expect hospital caregivers to comply with these directives. If you have such a document you should provide a copy to the hospital.
  10. Accept or refuse medical treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the consequences of refusal. 
  11. Communicate with others when medically appropriate.  A reasonable attempt shall be made to contact an interpreter if needed.  
  12. Personal privacy concerning your own medical care program. Care discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly with visual and auditory privacy.  Those persons not directly involved in the care must have your permission to be present.  All communications and clinical records pertaining to your care will be treated confidentially and you will have access to your medical records within a responsible time frame.
  13. Receive evaluation, services and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of your situation.  Transfer (when medically permissible) to another level of care (LOC) within this facility or another facility, after receiving complete information and explanation concerning the need for, and alternative to, such a transfer.  The facility to which you will be transferred must first accept the transfer. Swing Bed patients shall receive a copy of “Resident Rights” that outline admission, discharge and transfer rights.  
  14. Exercise cultural and spiritual beliefs that do not interfere with the well being of others or your care plan.
  15. Know if experimental methods of treatment are considered so you may consent or refuse to participate.
  16. Be informed of any continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital.
  17. Examine your bill and receive an explanation of the charges regardless of the source of payment for your care.
  18. Be informed of the hospital rules and regulations applicable to your conduct as a patient.
  19. Use the Spencer Hospital complaint process for submitting a written or verbal complaint to the Patient Representative, your health care practitioners, or hospital administration and receive a written response from our hospital regarding your complaint within 10 working days from the complaint receipt.
  20. Refer quality of care concerns, patient complaints or premature discharge grievances to the appropriate agencies.  Medicare beneficiaries should access Livanta, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Iowa.  Non-Medicare Beneficiaries should access the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Contact information for these organizations is listed on the back of this brochure. 
  21. Be free from restraints or seclusions for non-medical purposes of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation.
  22. Receive information about rights as a Medicare beneficiary at admission.
  23. Receive care in a safe setting free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

Patient Visitation Rights

  1. Receive or refuse to receive visitors of their choice unless there are clinical or legal reasons for visitor restrictions.  In the event of clinical or legal restrictions an explanation will be provided to the patient or representative.  The hospital will not restrict visitors based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.  The patient may instruct the staff verbally or in writing that they have a designated representative and the hospital shall provide that representative with a copy of the patient rights and involve this individual in healthcare decisions about the patient. This representative will maintain this role during the entire hospitalization unless the patient informs the hospital verbally or in writing of a change in this decision.
  2. Infection control issues.
  3. Interference with the care of the patient.
  4. Existing court order restricting contact.
  5. Visitors engaging in disruptive, threatening, or violent behavior - to provide a safe and secure environment for all patients, visitors, and staff. 

The patient or representative has the responsibility to:

  1. Provide accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to your health, including advance directives and for reporting whether you clearly comprehend the contemplated course of action and what is expected.
  2. Follow the treatment plan recommended by your physician. This includes following the instructions of other health care professionals as they implement your doctor’s orders and enforce applicable hospital regulations.   Should you refuse treatment or fail to comply with your physician’s instructions you are responsible for the consequences.
  3. Assure that the financial obligations of your care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  4. Follow hospital rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.
  5. Be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel; assist in controlling your noise and visitors.

Complaints and Concerns

Though our goal at Spencer Hospital is to provide you with the best possible care and service, we realize we may sometimes overlook something important to you.  As stated in the Patient Rights and Responsibilities, you have the right to complain if you feel your care or service is not as expected.  Please feel free to tell your caregiver, their manager or your physician if you have a concern.  You may also contact the hospital patient representative at (712) 264-6208 or hospital administration at (712) 264-6111. 

Spencer Hospital is accredited by the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ), a national accreditation organization sanctioned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Patients of Spencer Hospital may contact CIHQ directly to file a complaint regarding quality of care or safety issues.

To contact CIHQ, please use one of the following options:



Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality
P.O. Box 3620 McKinney, TX 75070
Attn: Chief Executive Officer


You may also contact the following agencies:

Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals
321 E. 12th Street
Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, IA  50319-0083
(515) 281-7102

Iowa Department of Aging

Iowa Long-Term Care Resident Advocate/Ombudsman
236 Jewett Building
914 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA  50309
(515) 281-5426

Iowa Protection & Advocacy Services, Inc.
3015 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA  50310
(515) 278-2502

Medicare Notice of Beneficiary
Discharge and Non-Coverage Rights

If you are a Medicare patient, please refer to the information you received upon admission. Please let your caregiver know if you did not receive this.

Medicare's Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Program (BFCC-QIO)
10820 Guilford Rd Ste 202
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-1262
1-888-755-5580 or TTY 1-888-985-9295

Advance Medical Directives

If you have completed an Advance Medical Directive (a living will or medical power of attorney), please inform your caregivers and give them a copy as soon as possible. If you do not have any such document, but would like to have more information or assistance with formulating one, please ask your caregiver to contact someone from social services or patient representative department who would be glad to assist you with this matter. You will not be denied care of you do not have such an Advance Directive document and do not wish to complete one at this time.

Notice of Privacy Practices 

Information on how we handle your protected health information is included in our Notice of Privacy Practices. Follow this link to the notice, or contact a member of our staff to request a copy. Any privacy questions or concerns can be shared with your caregivers or one of our Privacy Officers.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Patient Representative
(712) 264-8300 extension 6208

Hospital Administration
(712) 264-8300 extension 6111

Privacy Officers
VP of Patient Care Services
(712) 264-8300 extension 6114
Director of Health Information
(712) 264-8300 extension 6146